Monday, March 23, 2015


Hooray! We're off to visit my parents! Regularly scheduled blog posts will return NLT April 13th. 
Until then, be sure to follow along via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Friday, March 20, 2015


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Navy Stack by Jennifer Flannigan // The Magenta looks magnificent! I wouldn't mind hanging this beauty above my desk.
  • Kate Spade Watering Can // If for some reason I win the lottery, I'd buy this for my mom in a heart beat. It's just perfect!
  • Dulci Fabric-Bow Kitten Heels // Because we have visitors in town, I originally created this post last week, and it appears these amazing heels have sold out since I whipped up the graphic. Oops! They're still incredibly pretty to stare at and they make today's Love List extra marvy. Here's hoping they'll be in-stock soon, because they're flipping fabulous!
  • Moss Table Runner // How many more days until the Lent online shopping lockdown is over? I would SO add this adorable touch of spring to our kitchen table. In case you forgot, I have this thing with moss...
  • Watermelon Slices by Elizabeth Graeber // I don't think I'll ever stop singing Elizabeth Graeber's praises. Eventually I plan to own a piece of her work. I can't decide if it will be something food-related (like this!) or if I'd have her illustrate a favorite piece from my wardrobe. I lean towards the latter; however, these watermelon slices are seriously superb.
  • Sleeveless Silk Shell in Pin Dot // I'm thinking this might be on the top of my J.Crew wish list. The silk isn't terribly mom-friendly, but I imagine my dad will be holding Max for the next two weeks, so it doesn't really matter. Ha Ha!
  • Fantastic Mom Card by Emily McDowell // Speaking of parents, I can't wait to hug my mom and dad next week. Squee! I can't even believe it!! We saw them last October and so much has happened since. I just want to squeeze them and thank them for the support they've offered. Nothing makes you appreciate your parents more than having a child of your own.
  • Fuchsia Rocker // I need another Eames-inspired chair like I need a hole in my head, but I had NO clue they started to create them in such punchy color palettes. Hubba hubba! Maybe Max will need one in his size in a few years?! He He!
  • Bobbi Brown Hot Nudes Eye Palette // I'm in the market for some new eye shadow. My old palette busted last week, and I'm just barely getting by with what's left. I can't wait to hit up Sephora or Ulta with my mom. I think this Bobbi Brown palette is a serious contender. I love the combination of matte and subtle amount of shimmer.
  • Zara Home New Arrivals // Sometimes I forget to look at Zara Home, but I was really impressed with their latest batch of New Arrivals. I'm especially loving this Sleep Mask, these Pink Tumblers, and these affordable and colorful Linen Pillows.
  • Bunny Hop Sweatshirt // Clearly this is a Maxwell Must. I've already got this festive flair packed for our big trip. 
  • Namesake Beaded Bracelet // I got a Krysos + Chandi bracelet last summer, and I wear it on repeat. This neon orange and metallic blush convertible piece (doubles as a necklace and bracelet) might be a nice addition to my collection.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by. Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015


FEELING: Whenever we get excited in my family, we say we've got bubbles. Essentially, that just means you're so stinking excited you simply can't take it anymore. Now I realize we have five days before we depart, so it' s probably a bit early to be feeling all the bubbles, but I can't help it. I just do. It's not a bad thing to feel preemptive bubbles, it just makes the waiting part unbearable.

THANKFUL FOR: I'm so grateful for my in-laws. They're watching Max for a few hours this morning while I tend to my ashy roots. In fact, I believe there's some rule that says you can't leave town looking like a mousy hot mess. Hmm, where did I read that? Anywho, it's such a treat to run errands and go to appointments sans baby DURING 
the week. I could definitely get used to this! Honestly, I can't thank them enough for this little outing; it's exactly what I needed. And let's face it, Max is loving all the attention.

THINKING ABOUT: Oh. Em. Gee. I've got a duffel bag that's hanging out in my closet just waiting to be packed. How do I even begin to approach such a hefty task? This is the first big trip I've taken since Max graced us with his presence, and I'm not entirely sure how I'm supposed to make room for all of HIS stuff when I really need room for MY stuff. Selfish much?! You see, I typically like to have options when I travel. We're talking a dozen different necklaces (that bling gets heavy) and flats in a variety of colors and styles. Sigh. Over the past few weeks, I've attempted to give myself little pep talks (It can be done!) and draft a plan of attack in my mind. Let's see how it goes. I suppose it won't hurt to be a little practical...

EATING: I never know what to cook when we have guests. It feels nerve-wracking just trying to think of possible meal ideas. Do you ever feel this way? I always struggle with trying new recipes or sticking with old classics. Since my in-laws were driving down from Missouri and we weren't exactly sure when they'd arrive Wednesday night, I opted to prepare these Balsamic Roast Beef French Dip Sandwiches from Add A Pinch. I didn't know how hungry they'd be, and I needed something low-maintenance. I typically despise Crock-Pot recipes. No matter how much I season the dish, it always tastes terribly bland. What am I doing wrong?! Thankfully, this recipe turned out to be surprisingly flavorful and was a fantastic option considering the timeline and circumstances. 

LISTENING TO: My dad, who adores Max like crazy cakes, pointed out that my child can simultaneously be pleased, pissed, and passé. Yes, it's true. Even as the colic has passed, Max can never decide what mood he's in. Lately he's been making this sound that starts out like a cry and turns into a laugh. It's SO confusing! I really feel like I'm being played by a five-month-old mastermind. These voodoo tricks must be payback for the roller coaster of emotions I submitted my parents to (and still do!). I suddenly feel like Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss, "Happy, smile. Sad, frown. Use the corresponding face with the corresponding emotion." Oy!

WATCHING: Over the past few weeks, I started to place Max in his Jumperoo while I spin in the afternoons. Now that he's become more active, it keeps him entertained while I work out. I typically set his crazy technicolor contraption (Yep, I still abhor it!) next to my bike. I figure if I'm panting and pedaling, I might as well have something cute to stare at. Lately I've noticed that whenever I'm up and out of the saddle doing jumps and climbs, he proceeds to hop around with oodles of excitement. It's absolutely hysterical to watch and it warms my heart. He's also quite mesmerized by the flywheel and its swirling motion. I can tell he's getting tired whenever he starts staring at it. Ha Ha! I suppose cardio isn't so bad when you've got a tiny cheerleader right next to you.

READING: A big piece of my heart belongs to Roald Dahl. His playful words and silly stories meant so much to me growing up. Even now, as an adult, I realize how nuggets of his wisdom continue to offer guidance and inspiration. I recently read this quote and it stopped me in my tracks. When I look at how I'd like to approach each day, task, and my various roles (as mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc.), I'd like to think of this as a mission statement to make each day count.

"I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed. Embrace it with both arms. Hug it. Love it. And above all, become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good." — ROALD DAHL
LOVING: This is going to sound terrible, but life in Swell Rio can be a little (okay, a lot!) draining at times. If I'm being completely honest with you and myself, I've been running on empty for the past few months. I'm SO ready to fill up my tank with family and a change of scenery. This trip could not come at a better time. I look forward to spending time with the weirdos in my tribe. I'm talking about an afternoon of shopping, a morning at the museum, dinners filled with belly laughs and glasses spiked with gin.

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Last week, we managed to get to 80 degrees one afternoon and it kind of felt like summer. I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for that just yet, but if it means I get to sip on cocktails like this and don sparkly sandals bedecked in jewels, then maybe it could be alright. 

Recipe from Stir and Strain
(Serves 1)

4-6 Basil Leaves
A Handful of Blueberries
1/2 oz Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
3 oz Gin
Crushed Ice
Garnish: 3 Blueberries, 2 Basil Leaves, Lemon Zest

  1. Muddle basil, blueberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup in the bottom of a double rocks glass.
  2. Add approximately an inch of crushed ice. Stir and add gin.
  3. Fill glass with more crushed ice.
  4. On top of ice, zest lemon and garnish with blueberries and basil leaves.

Note: I crushed ice in my blender prior to making the cocktail. I think I got a bit overzealous with the whole blending process because my ice chunks were on the small side causing them to melt quickly. Oops! Next time, I might save myself the hassle and just buy some crushed ice from Sonic or something. The original cocktail looks more like a snow cone and mine resembles a slushy. Ha Ha! 
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015



Happy Tuesday, m' dears! The in-laws arrive tomorrow and we're ONE week away from our departure East. Huzzah! Needless to say, things are pretty busy around Swell Rio as I attempt to prep for guests, maintain the ol' blog, and pack for our upcoming trip—all while tending to Sir Maxalot's every need. Hmm, this could get interesting... How about we jump straight to the details?   

  • The warmer Texas temps mean it's time I finally unpack my colorful chinos and incorporate them into the daily mom-semble (stripes and snazzy flats—you know the drill). It's a nice change from the denim I wore most days this winter.
  • In last's week's Thursday's Thoughts post, I told you about my risky move to order perfume online having never actually smelled the scent. Oops! Weeks later, I'm still incredibly smitten with the Wild Bluebell Cologne. As hokey as it sounds, it manages to make me feel a teensy bit special, even when my days are spent dodging spit-up and diaper blowouts.
  • Max's Freshly Picked Moccasins arrived last Wednesday, and I'm officially hooked! Hooray for shoes that actually stay on your baby's feet!! Who knew such a thing existed AND they can be aesthetically pleasing?? I still can't believe it.
  • Our Walmart carries confetti-filled Easter eggs, so naturally I felt the need to pick up a few cartons to take to my mom. I imagine she'll be able to share them with her school kids. Also, do you really need an excuse to buy confetti-filled eggs?
  • Sometimes I wonder how I'm going to pull everything off this week. If all else fails, we've got Tulips on the kitchen table and there's Mrs. Meyer's in the soap dispensers, so I'd say we're already winning!
  • Last Friday afternoon, I made a bunch of baby food with our nifty Baby Brezza, and I had the most fun! Later that evening, I told Flyboy about the entire process and how it required adorable little jars, Washi tape, and a Sharpie. He smirked when he realized how much joy it brought me. Why are some of the most mundane tasks (refilling soap dispensers, making baby food, etc.) the most relaxing and fulfilling?
  • My in-laws sent Max this cute Peek-A-Boo Bear for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, Beesly despises the bear's up-and-down motion and high-pitched giggle. I have to keep the poor toy in the closet because I'm not sure I can trust her alone with it. It's hilarious to watch her interact with the bear. I suppose she thinks she's protecting Max or something?!?

Alright, enough of my babbling. How are YOU? How's your week? Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

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Friday, March 13, 2015


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Color Crazy via The Atlantic Pacific // Blair Eadie can simply do no wrong, my friends. I adore EVERYTHING about this outfit. The stripes. Swoon! Those fabulous shoes. Hubba Hubba! Oh, and the punchy and classic color combination! Squee! It's going to take me awhile to come down from this delightful high. This is the definition of verklempt.
  • Ceramic Colorblock Box // I quickly browsed J.Crew's latest batch of New Arrivals (SO GOOD) because I didn't want to be tempted; however, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the sweet persimmon color of this little box. Bravo! I'm sure by the time this post is published, I will have items on my wishlist to pursue in person when I visit the store with my mom.
  • Loren Hope Spring/Summer 2015 Look Book // Feast your eyes, my friends! As per usual, the styling is spot on. I especially loved the Kai Pendant in Turquoise (paired with a pop of yellow, perhaps?!) and the Sylvia Necklace in Lagoon.
  • Uptown Tote // According to Jenna's Picks, it looks as though we're tote(s) twinsies. Eek! It's ridiculous how smitten I am with this bag. I only wish I would have sprung for the monogram like I originally intended. #PURSEPROBLEMS
  • Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins // I've been told these actually stay on a baby's feet, so I went ahead and got Max a pair for our upcoming trip. While I wanted to get something colorful like this green pair, I opted for a neutral and went with weathered brown. I'll keep you posted on my overall thoughts. I'll be impressed if he doesn't find a way to peel them off.
  • Furbish Favorites // I online window shop in the name of blog research. You're welcome, world! While browsing some of my favorite online stores this week, I fell hard for a few colorful items including this Herringbone Throw, this Spotted Terra Cotta Serving Bowl, and this Sarah Boyts Yoder original, Nautical Toy.
  • Why Not Banner // Well, I'm glad you asked! Why not add this simple reminder to any spot around your house?
  • Carrot Orange Ginger Juice // This tasty and colorful juice might be enough of a reason to get me to dust off the ol' juicer for something other than a cocktail recipe. Actually, I wonder how this would taste spiked?! I'm just kidding. Kind of.
  • Happy Wife Happy Life // Occasionally I like to check out Essie's website to see if they've launched any new collections. I noticed this "radiant red orange" and I can't say I hate the name of the polish. I think Flyboy would agree.
  • Type-A // I found this lovely typeface on Pinterest and can't track down the original source. I'd love to know where it originated because the font design is splendid. It almost makes me twitterpated like Blair's colorful ensemble. Almost.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by. Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.
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Thursday, March 12, 2015


FEELING: For the past three weeks, I've been hesitant to say anything because I was afraid I might jinx myself, but I think Max's colicky shenanigans are a thing of the past. Phew, what a relief! After Flyboy returned, I was hopeful this phase was behind us; however, the teething episode made things a bit confusing and it was hard to tell if it was REALLY over. Feeling confident about our content baby, we ditched the Miracle Blanket last week. Woo Hoo! We survived the first few months, we're smiling, and we love this nugget more than ever. Now where's our shiny trophy? I think I'll take my reward in the form of retail therapy at J.Crew with my mom.

THANKFUL FOR: Last night I got a text from my sister that said she would get to join us in D.C. for a few days. You guys, I'm over the moon! The emoji action that went on in response to her message was out of control. I can't believe that we'll all be together to celebrate Easter and my parents' 30th anniversary. It's going to be amaze balls!

In an effort to prepare for our visit east, I ordered a bunch of baby necessities from Amazon to have on hand while we stay at my parents' house. With my in-laws arriving next week, it just made sense to get as many items checked off the ol' to-do list as possible. This will be our first time flying with Max, so the idea of lugging everything to D.C. felt a little overwhelming. For the sake of convenience, it will be nice to have odds and ends already setup at our end destination. And while I'm rambling about traveling with tots, do any of you pros have advice to offer this newbie? We'll take all the help we can get.

EATING: This week I tried two new recipes I thought I'd share with you. Flyboy could eat pasta every day, so I made Cooking Classy's Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo. Like most of her dishes, it was a BIG hit! I loved the added flavor and texture the cauliflower gave to the pasta. The second recipe I tested was Pinch of Yum's Caramelized Salmon. Ever since I got pregnant with Max, I've made a conscious effort to eat salmon at least once a week. Because we eat it frequently (sometimes twice a week), I'm always looking for new ways to prepare our go-to fish. This particular recipe required just five ingredients, most of which you'll have in your pantry, and took twenty minutes. The simplicity and sweet flavor are just a few of the reasons I'll be making it this way again.

LISTENING TO: My dad got a karaoke machine for Christmas, and I think Flyboy is eager to use it. Lately he's been singing Toto's Africa to Max at night—it's a real treat! I can only imagine how he'll nail those high notes under pressure, but I imagine a few beers and a hot mic ought to do the trick! Also, can anyone tell me what that song is even about?

WATCHING: Please tell me you're binge watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. The series was created by Tina Fey (bow down) and stars Ellie Kemper from The Office. This just seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?! Kemper plays the role of Kimmy, a plucky and naive survivor of an underground apocalypse cult. The sunny and sweet show debuted last Friday, March 6th, and has already been dubbed the second coming of Liz Lemon (blerg!). I can't help but agree—it's blissfully absurd! I've quickly become obsessed with the characters and the opening theme song, which I can't seem to get out of my head.

READING: I'm in the process of reading Bringing Up Bebe, and I really don't want to bore you. How about a little link love instead?

The Apple Slice and Social Media Envy via Design For Mankind — Days later and I'm still digesting Erin's words.
24 Drugstore Products Hollywood's Top Makeup Artists Swear By via Refinery 29 — I'm a sucker for articles like this!
Jenna Lyons via La Figaro Madame — I have absolutely no clue what's being said, but our girl looks stunning!
The "Best Of" Issue via Matchbook Magazine — I was so sad to hear this would be the last issue. Sigh.

LOVING: Just a day shy of giving up "treat yo self" online shopping for Lent, I ordered a bottle of Jo Malone Wile Bluebell Cologne. I'd heard a lot of great things about the line and this specific scent, but I was hesitant to order a fragrance having never actually smelled it. Yeah, probably not my brightest move, I know. All of the rave reviews swayed me into purchasing a small bottle, and I'm so glad I did. It's very subtle and fresh. The best part? I don't get a headache when I wear it. Oh, and I've even been stopped by a few strangers who have asked what perfume I'm wearing. I'd chalk this up as a risky but sweet success!

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


While searching for gin cocktails to create, I try to keep the recipes somewhat simple. I do this primarily because Swell Rio doesn't have many options in the realm of snazzy spirits and fancy liqueurs. Trust me, I couldn't get a bottle of Hendrick's in this rinky-dink town if I tried. In fact, after Max was born, I had to have my parents bring me a bottle. Then when Flyboy took Beesly to San Antonio for her surgery at the end of December, my dear husband made a pit stop at Specs (a popular Texas liquor store) and brought home an emergency spare for me to have while he was away at training. I realize I probably sound like some sort of loony lush, but our bar cart must be stocked with my favorite gin at all times, so it's important we plan ahead and stock up whenever we go to the city. I have a few special ingredients I hope to snag for future cocktail recipes when we return from D.C., but for now simplicity is key. 

(Serves 1)

1.5 OZ GIN

Get ready, this one's a doozy...
  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  2. Add gin and lemon juice. Preferably laid back, with your mind on your money and your money on your mind.
  3. Fill with ginger ale and stir briefly.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
When I whipped this up last weekend, I should have kept the whole simplicity thing in mind. You see, I fell prisoner to an organic brand of ginger ale from HEB. Ugh, cute packaging gets me every stinking time! Does this happen to anyone else? I should have opted for something classic like Canada Dry. Our cocktails ended up having a heavy ginger taste and weren't quite as sweet as I'd like. 

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015



Happy Tuesday, m' dears! Feelings of joy are just buzzing around Swell Rio. Can you feel it?! In two short weeks, I'll get to hug my parents and watch them as they love on sweet Max. Squee! As if things couldn't get any better, my in-laws are planning an impromptu trip down to Texas and they'll arrive next week. It's going to be such a treat to be surrounded by so much family in such a short period of time! Sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of energy searching to find the swell in The Rio, so it's really nice for life to suddenly seem eventful and exciting. A change of scenery is going to feel great for all of us. March never looked so good!

  • It's a proven fact that overcast weekends are better when you're toting around fresh Tulips. I currently have three dozen scattered around our house, and I don't hate it. I suppose if Texas isn't ready for spring, then I'll just fake it indoors.
  • Can someone pass the tissues? Last Friday afternoon, I packed up all of Max's old clothes. I told myself I wouldn't be "that emotional mom" who sobs incessantly about how her baby is no longer a baby. Yeah, right. Good luck with that! On the bright side, I managed to keep it together until my mom called. As she asked what I was up to, I stared at a ginormous pile of newborn gowns and the tiniest striped leggings, and crocodile tears began to squirt from my eyes. Talk about feeling all the feelings. What a goober! I remember waiting anxiously for Max to finally fit in his adorable yellow jacket or his little sheep sweater and now I kind of want to hit the pause button. In a lot of ways, the Space Saver Bag that's chock-full of Max's first clothes feels like a badge of honor because those first few months were rough. I suppose it's just proof that we survived and there's a lot of great moments and precious outfits ahead.
  • Our Home Depot gets shipments of great plants and flowers at the most inopportune times. The practical side of me knows that we probably have at least one or two more freezes in our future, but how am I supposed to practice self-control when they continue to woo me with Ornamental Kale and Ranunculus?!
  • Attention all color lovers, you're going to want to get your hands on the latest issue of Domino. I've officially thumbed through it with glee on three different occasions, and I can assure you it's worth the $12 price tag.
  • In an attempt to get ahead on March's cocktails (look at me being so devoted to my resolution—wink), Flyboy and I whipped up a Gin Buck cocktail. You can expect the recipe and a review in an upcoming Hump Day Happy Hour post. 
  • After choosing photos for today's post, I realized that Max has a few key poses. Do you see any similarities in the last two pictures of him? He He! I'm thinking it's a disgruntled Blue Steel. For the most part, he seems to take after Flyboy when it comes to being photogenic. Now if he could just be like his father when it comes to cavities and dental work...
  • Here's a pathetic and sparkly confession. I got these jeweled sandals from J.Crew over a month ago. Sadly, they haven't made a Swell Rio debut just yet, so I sometimes get them out of my closet to stare at and wear around the house. Hey-O!

Alright, enough of my babbling. How are YOU? How's your week?

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Friday, March 6, 2015


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Big Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies // I can't say I've ever made peanut butter cookies. Is that crazy? It's always such a treat when others bake them, especially around the holidays. This recipe from Averie Cooks might be enough to get me to dust of my mixer this weekend. So much chewy goodness! I wish I could eat my computer screen.
  • Cerise Loafers // That color and the $15 price tag? I'd say stupid cute is the only way to truly describe a bargain like this.
  • Boden Rose Bow Dress // So many pieces from Boden's spring line make me want to twirl. This dress is no exception.
  • Crystal Palace No. 6 // It's a good thing Lent is in full swing because I could get in some serious Inaluxe trouble.
  • Haba Magic Arch Clutching Toy // I stumbled upon this while doing some "research" on Amazon. Dear colorful wooden toys, I adore you! Just look at the fabulous color choices. It's so happy—a definite Maxwell must!
  • Learn the Rules via Molly Jacques // There's so much creativity floating around online. I love it! Sometimes I find myself poring over Molly Jacques work. The playful nature of her lettering is like sunshine for my soul.
  • Pattern Play Tassel Keyring // Oh. My. Word. This has Ashley written ALL over it. Gimme now. Por favor.
  • Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish in Sweet Life // How fabulous is the packaging? A few bottles of Habit's colorful polish would look gorgeous displayed in any bathroom. Could Tabou be the new Clambake? Oh, please don't make me answer that. 
  • Black Stripe Bamboo Blanket // I wish I could just jump into The Land of Nod catalog and maybe cozy up with a blanket like this one. Does anyone know how I could make that happen? Ah, kid-friendly cuteness that doesn't make me vomit.
  • Sachet Set // I fear I've been wooed by the punchy neon-orange thread and embroidered polka dots. Please send help.
  • Mixed Buttons Kit // What a novel idea! The adorable packaging suddenly piques my interest in sewing. Kinda.
  • Drapey Crepe Cap-Sleeve Top // I doubt this will make the mom-semble cut, but that doesn't mean I can't swoon over it.
  • Ribbon Necklace // Another bargain buy from H&M that I can totally get on board with. How great is the striped ribbon?

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by. Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015


via Ann Street Studio
FEELING: The grey weather this week is seriously killing my creativity and motivation. What gives Swell Rio? Thankfully, the latest issue of Domino showed up in my mailbox on Tuesday afternoon and offered just the bright boost I so desperately craved. Shelter magazines in print seem to have that effect on me, although I still wouldn't mind a little sunshine.

THANKFUL FOR: It's been three weeks since Flyboy returned, and I'm more grateful than ever to have him around again. At the end of a long and outrageous day with baby, it's just really nice to have someone with whom I can laugh.

THINKING ABOUT: There are moments when babies can be really great for your ego and confidence. For instance, Max laughs at all of my jokes, finds my dance moves utterly delightful, and he thinks I can hit the high notes just like Adam Levine whenever I sing along to Maroon 5's Sugar. Years from now I imagine it will be the opposite, so I'm going to soak it all up while it lasts.

EATING: After Mary of Tulips and Flight Suits recommended this orzo salad recipe in a recent post, I immediately bookmarked it to make when Flyboy returned from training. Well, I finally got around to trying it this past Tuesday, and we're both crazy obsessed. It was a light and fresh meal, which we warmly welcomed after eating so many heavy comfort foods that seem to tag along with this bleak winter weather. I knew it would be a winner once I realized it was a recipe from my favorite, the Barefoot Contessa. Just as I assumed, the orzo salad didn't disappoint and I'll be adding it to the list of meals on rotation.

LISTENING TO: I could go on ad nauseum about my dad's fantastic wit. He just has this incredible way of working with words, and he often puts his skills to good use by creating comical limericks and songs for our family's amusement. His latest work goes to the tune of Single Ladies and is dedicated to Max and his newfound love for sweet potatoes. It goes something like this:

Sweet Potatoes (Put a Bib on It)
All the hungry babies, (all the hungry babies)
All the hungry babies, (all the hungry babies)
All the hungry babies, (all the hungry babies)
All the hungry babies, Now put your feet up!

Up in his crib (crib), tuggin’ on his bib (bib), Lil’ Max ready for breakfast.
Momma’s in the kitchen (kitchen), sweet potato mixin’ (mixin)
Ain’t got no time to waste.

If your baby got a hunger, put a bib on it
When you feed him sweet potatoes, put a bib on it
Don’t be mad once you see that he want it
‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put a bib on it
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh x2

WATCHING: It's been awhile since I've rambled about Bravo, so here it goes... Shahs of Sunset returned this past Monday, and my life feels full again now that I get to see Reza and MJ interact on a weekly basis. Tuesday's episode of RHOBH left me frustrated. Of course these women could find a way to ruin a perfect trip to Amsterdam. Shame on you, Kim Richards! Also, how wonderful is Yolanda? Much like space cake, I imagine she's an absolute treat. Ha! As far as the ATL goes, I think I'm an episode or two behind, but I plan to take care of that ASAP. I must know more about Chocolate and stat! While I'll be sad to say good-bye to the wacky women of Beverly Hills and Atlanta in the coming weeks (hello, reunions!), this preview for the upcoming season of RHONY makes me giddy.

READING: I suppose the presence of two new pearly whites and this whole eating real food thing kind of hit me last week. Max is growing up, you guys! I can't say I truly loved the whole newborn and infant phases, so part of me is really excited but equally anxious about how to prepare for this next phase. Do any of you have any parenting book recommendations? Just a month ago, it felt like Max was still so fresh we couldn't really mess him up. I realize that probably sounds like scary rationale, but it's the truth. Ha Ha! Perhaps this is just the intense side of me talking, but I feel like it's time to get down to business. Soon enough we'll have to start making real decisions as to how we want to raise our little guy. As hokey as it sounds, I plan to read Bringing Up Bebe this weekend. I'm not entirely sure what makes French parenting so special, most of what I've read seems like common sense, but I'm totally on board with the ideas presented. It seems very similar to the way my parents raised my sister and me.

LOVING: Have you heard of the company Let's PlaygroundJeni and Mare are the creators of these all-purpose leather mats, which are created for park lovers, al fresco eaters, and mess makers. What started out as a kickstarter project was funded within 34 hours. How awesome is that?! I pre-ordered the Midi, and I can already tell it's going to come in handy, especially as Max becomes more mobile. I like that it will be easy to clean, it can be used both indoor and outdoors, and it's not bulky to store like most blankets and quilts. I only wish we had something like this when we lived in Hawaii. It would have been great for the beach!

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!

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